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Contempt notice issued to IO of Samjhauta blasts

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Panchkula, November 22, 2012
First Published: 20:24 IST(22/11/2012) | Last Updated: 00:51 IST(23/11/2012)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) special court here has issued contempt notices to the investigation officer (IO) in the Samjhauta blasts case, assistant superintendent of police (ASP) Vishal Garg over non-delivery of statements of 29 protected witnesses to accused in the case.

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The contempt application was moved by Kamal Chauhan, who allegedly planted bomb in the train.

The contempt notice has also been issued to another NIA officer Inspector RS Jamwal.

On February 18, 2007, two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) out of four had gone off on Samjhauta Express near Dewana railway station in Panipat (Haryana), killing 68 passengers, most of them Pakistanis.

The National Investigating Agency (NIA) had filed a supplementary charge sheet on August 9, declaring that Sharma and Chauhan, along with Amit and Rajender Chaudhary, planted four bombs on the train. In the charge sheet, the NIA listed 29 witnesses, declaring them "protected", whose names and addresses were not mentioned. Copies of their statements were also not provided to the accused.

Then on September 3, court of Special NIA Judge Kanchan Mahi directed NIA to supply the statements to the accused on or before September 17.

But when on September 17, the copies of statements were not supplied; cost of Rs. 200 was imposed on NIA.

Then again on October 4, NIA moved another application opposing delivery of statements of protected witnesses, which is pending. 

Counsel for Chauhan, Naveen Kaushik, said, " Despite orders of the court two months ago, NIA is not providing us statements of witnesses."

In the first charge sheet, submitted on June 20, 2011, the NIA had provided copies of statements of all witnesses to the accused. 

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